NiP survives FaZe in marathon grand final to defend IEM Oakland title

The Ninja in Pyjamas have pulled off a major upset in the grand final of IEM Oakland  with the Swedes defeating FaZe in a best-of-five marathon by 3-2 (Cobblestone 16-10, Inferno 7-16, Train 16-10, Overpass 6-16, Cache 16-10).

The journey to victory was not easy for NiP as their start at the first map saw FaZe dominating early. They were made to work, but with a double AWP setup and William “draken” Sundin clutching a 1v1 along the way they struck back from 6-3 to 9-6, and extending their advantage all the way to the end for a 16-10 score after the break.

Inferno was a different story for NiP, however. FaZe struck hard and fast to a 5-0 lead before conceding three rounds, and then another six of the remaining seven before the break. The European mix squad then took the second pistol, and while NiP took three more rounds a forcebuy win saw FaZe claim the map.

Map three on Train saw FaZe as the ones to get away with a better start, before it got more back and forth and NiP secured an 8-7 half as Terrorists. They built on the momentum after the break and clinched double digits after the second pistol round and continued to rack up rounds, and while FaZe answered with two of their own, three close situations on the outer bombsite later saw NiP secured map three at 16-10.

With one map loss meaning early defeat, FaZe put up a wall at the start at Overpass  grabbing an 8-0 lead  before NiP find their first round as they capitalized on an entry on B and topped it off with another win.

Up 13-2, FaZe won the second pistol round as well. NiP responded by winning two rounds as Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg and William “draken” Sundin put up doubles in the following forcebuy, but Nikola “NiKo” Kovac’s Deagle pushed his team to match point after a triple and a 1v1 clutch. NiP was left grabbing at straws, and, after two more rounds FaZe simply put them out of their misery.

The last map started with NiP down 1-3, before Rikard “Xizt” Landstrom stepped up for his team with a 1v2 as NiP equalized the scoreline and grabbed their first lead at 4-3.

XiZt, Swedes’ in-game leader who had been mostly quiet before, then continued to put up amazing rounds throughout the rest of the half, including a quad-kill in an important round with reset potential as well as another 1v2, helping his roster grab the remaining five rounds and a 9-6 lead.

Although FaZe made things even at 9-9 following a pistol round, but NiP took over and won the first few gunrounds and precise plays helped the Swedes mount a six-round streak on the way to match point. When it looked like NiP would close the series, karrigan stepped up massively with a 1v4 clutch, but his heroics were all for naught in the end as the Swedes picked up their first major title of the year and $129,000 in prize money.

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